A UAV-Based Sensor System for Measuring Land Surface Albedo: Tested over a Boreal Peatland Ecosystem Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • A multiple sensor payload for a multi-rotor based UAV platform was developed and tested for measuring land surface albedo and spectral measurements at user-defined spatial, temporal, and spectral resolutions. The system includes a Matrice 600 UAV with an RGB camera and a set of four downward pointing radiation sensors including a pyranometer, quantum sensor, and VIS and NIR spectrometers, measuring surface reflected radiation. A companion ground unit consisting of a second set of identical sensors simultaneously measure downwelling radiation. The reflected and downwelling radiation measured by the four sensors are used for calculating albedo for the total shortwave broadband, visible band and any narrowband at a 1.5 nm spectral resolution within the range of 350–1100 nm. The UAV-derived albedo was compared with those derived from Landsat 8 and Sentinel-2 satellite observations. Results show the agreement between total shortwave albedo from UAV pyranometer and Landsat 8 (R2 = 0.73) and Sentinel-2 (R2 = 0.68). Further, total shortwave albedo was estimated from spectral measurements and compared with the satellite-derived albedo. This UAV-based sensor system promises to provide high-resolution multi-sensors data acquisition. It also provides maximal flexibility for data collection at low cost with minimal atmosphere influence, minimal site disturbance, flexibility in measurement planning, and ease of access to study sites (e.g., wetlands) in contrast with traditional data collection methods.

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publication date

  • March 1, 2019

published in